After an Interview: Can Weekly Follow Up Calls and Emails Help Get You the Job?

Short answer: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

People wonder what to do after the job interview . I just read a recent comment from one of my readers who said “I still haven’t heard back from them after my job interview and they stopped answering my weekly follow up calls and emails so I just assume they don’t want me. I think that’s rude not to respond to me, but oh well. I will continue applying for more things!”

Of course my heart goes out to her, but I almost jumped out of my skin when I read how often she was following up with both phone calls AND emails after the job interview.  I get she was just eager to know “Did I get the job?”, but there’s good reason not to do what she was doing. What you do after an interview can count as much as before or during!

While I well understand the agony of waiting to hear back after the interview – and do love her positive attitude about moving on to look for the right job – I worry some of you, including this reader, may actually hurt yourself badly with an overly zealous approach. Bugging a potential employer week after week – no matter how wonderful a hire you might be – is not going to get you the job.  In fact, too many phone calls or e-mails can totally turn off the very people in the company you want to impress.

Avoid weekly follow-up calls and emails after an interview

Sending all those e-mails and making all those phone calls does not help your case with the company – and in fact only irritates HR folks and other hiring managers, many of whom have inboxes full of e-mails all demanding immediate attention. An occasional polite post-interview e-mail or phone call can be a good thing…but after that, believe me…if they are interested, they’ll remember you!

Unless you have something you absolutely need to tell them or maybe a new Pulitzer Prize you just won and want them to know about…less is more is a pretty good rule to follow when it comes to contact after the interview. And if they aren’t getting back to you – as annoying as that can be – just assume they have a good reason and do your best to focus on other things…like continuing to look for a great job!

(If you are waiting to hear back, you might find some helpful hints here: 12 Ways to Stay Sane After a Job Interview)

What about phone calls or email before an interview?

Speaking of following up…here’s a post from Kerry over at Clue Wagon that generated some great discussion. Basically, she tells us be wary of online experts who advise us to call or email after sending a resume (before any interview):

Calling to Follow Up? Hand Me a Fork.

(Kerry, a former HR person, is not one to mince words you’ll notice.)

Seriously…unless you have a contact there or a very good reason to call or are in an industry where this is ok  (as Kerry also advises in 3 (Possible) Exceptions to the Do-Not-Call Rule), you are probably not helping yourself one bit by calling before an interview to follow up on your resume. Employers sometimes get a hundred or more resumes for one job posting. Believe me…they do not want a hundred or more calls or e-mails for each job they post! (Hmmm…maybe we should call anyone who suggests you do that?)

Of course, for every rule there are exceptions. And I will admit I may have helped myself get to a couple of interviews by using the send-resume-then-make-polite-follow-up-call technique – but then again, it may have been my particular circumstance. And I also might have gotten there anyway based solely on my resume and strong cover letter. (That’s what a good cover letter is for.)   So please…if you do try this, just tread gently.

Nuff said.

So what’s your take on how often to follow up AFTER an interview? How have you handled your own post-interview follow-ups?

Waiting to hear back after a job interview?

How to Tell If a Job Interview Went Well

About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.

Comments

  1. Hi,

    I was wondering if you could help. A co-worker forwarded my resume to a friend where he had a friend that worked for the HR department. After some time, they called for a phone interview, and in the time it took me to get back to them (about 3 hours), they had called the friend, who called my co-worker who called me to let me know they REALLY wanted to talk to me (that seemed very promising). Well, we had a great phone interview last Friday 9/7/12 (while the HR manager was on her way to the beach… also seemed promising). After the interview, she said she would forward my resume to the hiring manager and would contact me “early next week”. After the interview, I sent a thank you email. My question to you is whether it is appropriate to send another email (today is late Wednesday), to follow up with her, or should I just try to be patient and not seem too eager… I am VERY eager and REALLY want this position. If so, how do I present the email as being an un-eager follow up?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Matt,

      I recommend you call on Friday and ask to speak to her in person. It’s always easier to tell tone of voice and to get an immediate response when you call and talk to someone face to face. I wouldn’t advise sending an email as they could postpone responding to you if they aren’t quite ready and then you would REALLY be frustrated.

      All the Best,
      Chandlee

  2. Hi,

    I applied for a position with a company, and they called me back to take a test on the internet, then had me do a pre-screen over the phone. Finally they had me do a phone interview with the supervisor and it went great and he seemed nice. Then he scheduled me a face to face interview with which i thought went great because i showed up 10 minutes early, i handed him my letter of recommendation from my high school principal, we talked about sports, and laughed alot. He said he would call me soon. But after a week i havent heard anything… I dont know what to do because i think im a perfect fit for the job and am very interested in the job as a career. What should i do?

    • Chris,

      Did you send a thank you note? If not already, I would follow up and let him know you are still interested. If you have, I’d let it go until early next week. People generally cannot make offers UNTIL they’ve talked to all pre-scheduled interviews.

      Good luck and keep us posted,
      Chandlee

  3. Hi,

    Hope someone can help. I had an interview last Friday (28th Sep.) I followed up with an email later reiterating my interest in the role. The hiring manager advised me that they should let me know by next week, It has been a week now, is it a good idea to follow up (email or phone) with the hiring manager for a feed back?

    Thanks

    • Hi Vee,

      I would not rule out the possibility of getting the job yet — I’d wait until October 10 or 11 to follow up, ask for position feedback and get a status update. In the interim, recommend you continue to apply for other jobs. It’s always good to keep your options open.

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

  4. Hello,

    I interviewed for a contract position last week on Tuesday. The recruiter seemed highly interested in me, however did not specify when a hiring decision will be made (my mistake, I failed to ask for a timeframe). I sent him a thank you note immediately and mentioned that I was eager to hear any updates in regards to the opportunity. Sadly, I have not heard back from him and the job is meant to start on Monday of next week. Should I just assume that they went with a different candidate? Would it be okay for me to send him a follow up e-mail in to check the status of my application, or would that jusy come off as annoying?

    • Hi Ray,

      Delays happen all the time, but if you are really curious just call the person you interviewed with and ask for a follow-up. If the job starts on Monday, it would be good for you to know one way or the other. Don’t send an e-mail or leave a voice mail if you want a fast response.

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

  5. This is what I’m struggling with right now, knowing when it’s time to send that “occasional polite post-interview e-mail” —

    I had an interview just shy of two weeks ago, it went really well (they even said as much to me). I sent a follow-up-same-day-thank-you email, which got a reply saying they were happy to hear from me and to know how interested I was in the position. They checked my references last Tuesday and Wednesday (so, a week ago). Because they specifically mentioned in the interview they were looking to fill the spot quickly (the person who had the position previously has already left), I want to stay on top of it but I don’t want to be pushy because I’m sure my version of “AH! SO MUCH TIME HAS PASSED!!!” might be different than theirs. I also don’t want to wait possibly putting one last good word in for myself if they are still deciding. Is it an appropriate time to send a quick status inquiry email?

    • Hi Jess,

      Yes, I think it would be fine to send a quick check-in email. Let them know that you are aware that they have contacted some of your references. Offer to provide more if they would like.

      Don’t just focus on you and putting a good word in for yourself — focus on the company and say why you want to work for them, too!

      Good luck,
      Chandlee

    • Hi Jess,

      I think you should follow-up early next week. Let them know you know they checked references, and offer to provide more if they would like it.

      Keep the focus not on putting in one last word for yourself, but rather on showing them your high level of interest in the job.

      Best,
      Chandlee

  6. Hi,
    I recently have had 4 interviews with a company. First interview was with a HR recruiter to review my resume and see if I was qualified for the job. The next interview was a more in depth interview with the a higher up in HR. She seemed satisfied with me . I was invited for a face to face interview with the manager that would be my boss. I believed everything went well. A few days later, I received an skype interview with one of the vp in the company via skype. I already sent a thank you letter to the manager I met with in person, and the manager responded in a very positive way, but unfortunately I did not get the email for the vp I met with over skype, so I did not send them a thank you letter. It has been about a 4 business days since meeting over skype with the VP, and about 2 weeks since my follow up letter. Should I follow up with the manager that I met with?

    Thanks in Advance

    • Hi David,

      Yes, you could follow-up but don’t expect it to sway the actual decision of the committee…Alternatively, if you search Google to *@companyname.com you can find out how the organization assigns email addresses — then make an educated guess on the missing email address and send that belated thank you. If it doesn’t work it will bounce back.

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

  7. I’m in desperate need of some advice. I have been interviewing for a position since August (five interviews to be exact). The last follow up email I received was from one of the directors of the department I applying to and he said that because another Director needed to be hired before my position is filled I would not hear from him for a few weeks. I know that Director has been officially hired, it has been three weeks since I last heard anything. Should I attempt to contact again to see where they are in the hiring process of the position I am interested in? Your advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Andrea,

      Yes, I recommend contacting him again this week. If you’d like a fast response, you should call them directly. Don’t expect them to follow up faster or make an offer just because you are eager to hear back and get a job — but not a bad idea to follow up again and just let them know of your continued interest.

      Good luck,
      Chandlee

  8. Hi, I would appreciate a little advice. I had an interview on a Friday with the hiring manager and the two team members with whom I would be working. I felt very good about it and I was in fact set up with an appointment to speak to two corporate managers on the following Thursday. Thought I nailed that too. Had a third interview on the following Friday with the GM and Operations Manager, separately. Great interview with GM but the OM was a poor interviewer (I did well, he did not). After that, the HR Manager said there was no time table for a decision, but that I should call if I hadn’t heard by the following Thursday. Called on Thursday and no decision yet. HR Manager said he was really hoping to hear by the next day because of a week long vacation the next week. Well, that week was last week, so I called yesterday (Tuesday) and still no decision. I feel confident that HR is being truthful and that it is not yet filled by one of the other final candidates.

    My question is should I call HR again and when? Would it be ok to contact the hiring manager via e-mail or otherwise and what do I say if so? After three interviews in two weeks, I thought it was going to be a quick process, but now I am getting worried. Thanks.

    • Bruce,

      I think you’ve done all you can. Given that you have followed up twice, if you follow up again — it can only hurt you. Unfortunately, the process all too frequently slows down at the end!

      All the Best,
      Chandlee

  9. Tashawnda says:

    Hi,

    I had an interview this past Friday at my old job for an HR position. The interview went well and before I left I was told I should hear something by Tuesday of this week. After I sent my thank you email I got a response saying that the decision process would extend longer. I believe my salary requirements were out of their range. Is it okay to follow up saying my salary requirements are negotiable since I’m more concerned about the experience?

    • Tashawnda,

      I think you can call, reiterate your continued interest in returning to the company, ask if they need further information — and thank them for the interview. Always looks good to be hired to work in a place twice.

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

  10. I had an interview a little over 2 weeks ago and I thought it went very well. The interviewer used phrases like, “..the offer we are about to make you..” as if it were very likely to happen. Initially, they gave me a timeline of 1 week. After a week, I was very eager and left a voice mail asking for a follow-up, which they returned, telling me that I am currently a top candidate but they were waiting on one more interview. They told me to wait another week, and now it has been 10 days since that call. Should I give them another call or is that too much?

  11. Hi,

    I had an interview on october15th for fresh graduates program. the interview went ok I guess and the manager gave me his business card to email him if I have any question regarding their program. before I left I asked if they are going to respond to all or only selected candidates. he said they will inform all by the end of that week or the next and still haven’t heard back yet. I didn’t send thanks letter after the interview. So what should I do?

    • Moe,

      Send a thank you note now and let them know you remain interested in the job…

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

      • Thanks that helped he emailed me back saying thanks for the message and they hope to be able to communicate the results of the interviews by early next week.

        Thanks again and wish me good luck.

        • Moe,

          Good luck! Keep me posted.

          Best,
          Chandlee

          • it has been a week since I got last message. I haven’t heard back yet. should I wait till next week or keep following up? and If I got the result with reject is there anything I can do?

            Thanks

          • Mow,

            Don’t keep following up; keep exploring alternate opportunities instead…Typically, you can’t rush a hiring process. If you do get the rejection, follow-up, let them know WHY you are disappointed and be clear on your continued interest in working for the company one day.

            Good luck and all the best,
            Chandlee

  12. Hi,
    I had a phone interview 3 weeks ago. The interview went really well and was told the next step would be another phone interview with the Director. (I live out of state.) I sent a thank you email that day. I then sent a follow up email 9 days later, letting them know I was still interested and if they needed any further information to let me know. I had no response on either email and I still have not been contacted for the 2nd interview. It has now been 3 weeks since the 1st interview. Should I call them to check in and see if I’m in the running for the position?

    • Hi Layla,

      I recommend checking the website to see if the position is still listed. If not, you can assume it has been filled. If still there, be patient. I’d follow up if you get another job offer but in the interim, they know how to find you. I know it’s frustrating but searches often take a great deal of time.

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

  13. Hi! Need some advice like everyone else. My face to face interview at a non-profit hospital was on 10/25/12. Went to the face to face interview and they are opening the unit that I hope to work on 12/3/12. When I left the interview, I asked how soon they were planning to make a decision and they said pretty soon and that they hoped to have everyone on board by mid November. Well, with the holiday approaching, mid-November is coming fast. I sent an email to the interviewer a week after our interview, and received no response. Sent an email to the HR recuriter a week later (2 weeks after intervview) and received no response. I am holding out hope that I get a call this week offering me the job. My question is should I follow up again (and until I get n answer one way or the other) or consider it a loss? It’s just so hard to know whats is going on…maybe a delay in construction as they said that happened once before…I’m holding out so much hope becaus I really want this job. HELP!!!

  14. (Oct 15) I phone interviewed initially for my dream job and was thankfully brought in for an in-person interview the few days later(Oct 22). I met with the recruiter and then followed by the hiring manager. Both interviews went well. The hiring manager mentioned that she loved my experience and that my background would be a great fit for the team. Shortly after, I sent my thank you notes to both the recruiter and the hiring manager and received lovely replies back the same day. The hiring manager replied that she enjoyed learning about my background and knows that I have a “tremendous skill set” and that they will be in touch. (Note: the hiring manager was going to be in NY for a week the day after my interview)

    After 2 weeks passed, (Nov. 6) I sent a friendly follow up email to the recruiter asking about the status of my candidacy and restating my interest. I also gave her an “out” by stating that if the position has been filled or I was no longer being considered that I was thankful for the opportunity to interview. She replied back the same day stating that they haven’t made any decisions yet and that she would keep me posted as they got further along.

    I must say this recruiter is the most responsive I have ever dealt with. Should I really expect to hear anything? I would think that if it had been filled she would have just told me in the email. We are now a week and a half out from the follow up email and still no word. Maybe they are in a holding pattern? HELP!

    Any advice is appreciated.

    • Tyffany,

      Hiring almost always takes longer than we think it will. At least that was my experience as a recruiter. I recommend that you keep your eye open on other opportunities, but also don’t rule out the possibility that you will get an offer.

      Good luck and all the very best,
      Chandlee

  15. Hi, I really need some advice regarding an interview I had with 02 retail, it is a temporary (christmas), part time position, I passed the phone interview successfully and was asked to go in for a face to face interview (8th Nov) which I think was short and sweet and went really well, I called the agency that first called me regarding the interview on the 15th Nov but they couldn’t get through to the store and told me they would ask them to get back to me. I had not heard anything since the interview but was told I would be informed through the agency. I really want this job. Help?!

    • Sam,

      If you haven’t heard back by now, make sure to apply for other opportunities this week as well. In general, many companies who hire employment agencies ultimately don’t use them to pick their new employees. Here’s why: Employers who use agencies have to pay the agency a fee for each person they place. If they have enough qualified candidates that have applied directly through the company, they don’t need to pay the fee.

      This is a good time to apply for jobs in retail anyway — when many people are applying. If you can’t get through to the agency, you can always stop by the store and express your continued interest.

      As always, I recommend people apply for more than one position and with more than one company in general — it will help you increase your odds of getting hired.

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

  16. Hi, I just had one interview last week and it didn’t went well. I know the chances for me to get the job are slim but I really interest in the position and company. The reasons are my lack of skills and experiences related to the job I applied. It is a junior position and she would like to groom the person in this position as she said. Since I have been invited to the interview I guess there still be chances even is slim, at least for consideration. Now, I would like to know if there is any other ways to save me? I am really interest in the position, I am willing to learn and thinking of asking for a chance. I was told to wait for 2 to 3 weeks but I think I should send an email to reiterate my strong interest to work with the company. How and what should I write to the interviewer? Is a phone call better or an email? Please help me and thanks in advance.

  17. Hi There-
    Prior to the spring, I had been at my previous job for 13 years. Several management entities have come and gone, but I always weathered through it. I got an offer this spring from a friend/associate from a long time ago for an opportunity I wasn’t even looking for, but was too good to pass up. The job had many challenges but I overcame all of them and excelled. For financial reasons (like not being able to afford me anymore)I was let go. This 4 month job is on my resume, m ainly because I do have acheivements while I was there. I had a phone interview Monday for a position I really want. I have the experience and would be a perfect fit. I can blame the ecomomy but I am wondering if this 4 month “stint” is hurting my chances with potential employers?? When asked, I tell the truth but problem is the “friend/associate” is no longer there either for a reference..any suggestions here?I did send a Thank you and am awaiting a call for a personal interview. Thanks for your help!

  18. Hi Chandlee, I had emailed you before for another job interview months ago and you gave excellent advice! Obviously I did not get hired but have been interviewing more since I implemented a targeted job search (rather than random). Currently, I interviewed for a Sales position in the Travel/Hospitality Industry which I have been trying to transition into. It is not exactly my dream job but it is a close runner up. I initially did not look for Sales positions but internal office jobs that require Planning/Travel skills. Anyway, I had a phone interview with one of the Co-founders on 11/12/12 (there are 3 Co-founders , all from New Zealand but do not actually work on the premises. Been in business since 2003 in NZ but only in L.A. since 2009 and successful).

    He arranged for a face-to-face interview on 11/14 with the CEO who does work on the premises. That interview went very well and I was told I would be contacted after the Thanksgiving holidays. Then on 11/20, another Co-founder interviewed me on the phone as he was in NZ for the holidays. I think that interview went well..he told me I was on the short list and it was a very skill based Q & A interview as I know he was trying to see if I could do the job(s)…there are a few hats to wear in this position, not just Sales. He ended it by saying I will be contacted after the Holidays.

    It is now Wed. 11/28 and I am thinking of emailing a follow-up letter to the CEO who I’d be working with…or maybe to the 2 Co-founders. I am half-expecting the 3rd Co-founder to call me..but I have a sinking feeling that I have not been selected. The CEO did mention that my competition are all males and there are at least 3 of them. I have mixed feelings because I have been networking with other hiring managers whose companies are closer to my ideal, dream job. I even went on another interview yesterday for a temporary position and even that company is closer to what I want.

    Please advise on what you think I should do at this point. Thank you!

  19. Hi, I just had intoductory interview last Tuesady week and it went well. I know the chances for me to getting the job is pretty positive and I am really interest in the position and company. The reasons are because of my skills and experiences related to the position that I was interviewed for…I was told the higher boss would be in town the following week (after Thanksgiving) and the I would getr a phone call to set up the actual interview. But I have have not heard from the hiring manager and it has been a full week…Do you think I should send an email to reiterate my strong interest to work with the company. Is a phone call better or an email? Please help me and thanks in advance.

    • Laura,

      If you haven’t sent a thank you note yet, do that. Send an email but make sure that you proofread it well…

      Good luck and all the best,
      Chandlee

  20. Hello,

    I had an interview at a company on Friday November 23rd. It was probably the best interview I ever had, sent a thank you letter that same day. Gut feeling is that they loved it as well. I was told at the end of the interview to give it about a week, and also that they were still in the interview process. I left a voice message this past Monday, found out the recruiter was sick that day (from the secretary). I havent received a response and I see that the job is still up on their website and it is a site which is updated frequently. I also noticed that the process has been quite slow..for example the phone interview to actual interview was a full week between. The recruiter also mentioned in person that she was a very patient person (this was in regards to a completely different question during the interview).
    .

    Is it normal for HR people to not return your follow up on a voicemail even if you are in contention? Can there just be a normal delay..or am I being delusional. I’m still applying for other positions that interest me.

    • Dee,

      It’s completely normal for employers and recruiters to delay following up with candidates until they have made a decision, especially since they often have more than your search going on at one time. Hang in there, be patient and it’s great that you are continuing to keep up your search.

      All the very best,
      Chandlee

Speak Your Mind

*